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Using Upgrade Advisor to Prepare for Upgrades

SQL Server Upgrade Advisor helps you prepare for upgrades to SQL Server 2008 R2. Upgrade Advisor analyzes installed components from earlier versions of SQL Server, and then generates a report that identifies issues to fix either before or after you upgrade.

How Upgrade Advisor Works

When you run Upgrade Advisor, the Upgrade Advisor Home page appears. From the Home page, you can run the following tools:

  • Upgrade Advisor Analysis Wizard

  • Upgrade Advisor Report Viewer

  • Upgrade Advisor Help

The first time that you use Upgrade Advisor, run the Upgrade Advisor Analysis Wizard to analyze SQL Server components. When the wizard finishes the analysis, view the resulting reports in the Upgrade Advisor Report Viewer. Each report provides links to information in Upgrade Advisor Help that will help you fix or reduce the effect of the known issues.

Upgrade Advisor Analysis

Upgrade Advisor analyzes the following SQL Server components:

  • Database Engine

  • Analysis Services

  • Reporting Services

  • Integration Services

  • Data Transformation Services


    Notification Services is not included in Upgrade Advisor scans because it has been removed beginning in SQL Server 2008.

The analysis examines objects that can be accessed, such as scripts, stored procedures, triggers, and trace files. Upgrade Advisor cannot analyze desktop applications or encrypted stored procedures.

Output is in the form of an XML report. View the XML report by using the Upgrade Advisor report viewer.


Reports might contain an "other upgrade issues" item. This item links to a list of issues that are not detected by Upgrade Advisor, but might exist on your server or in your applications. You should review the list of undetectable issues and determine whether you must change your server or applications because of the undetectable issues.

How to Install and Run Upgrade Advisor

The location where you install SQL Server Upgrade Advisor depends on what you will be analyzing. Upgrade Advisor supports remote analysis of all supported components except Reporting Services. If you are not scanning instances of Reporting Services, you can install Upgrade Advisor on any computer that can connect to your instance of SQL Server, and that meets the Upgrade Advisor prerequisites. For more information, see Version and Edition Upgrades. If you are scanning instances of Reporting Services, you must install Upgrade Advisor on the report server.

Upgrade Advisor is available in the \X86 (or x64, ia64)\redist\Upgrade Advisor folder of the SQL Server installation media, and as part of the SQL Server 2008 R2 Feature Pack.

You may also download the Upgrade Advisor installation packages here:

Prerequisites for installing and running Upgrade Advisor are as follows:

  • Windows XP beginning in SP2, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2003 beginning in SP2, or Windows Server 2008 SP2, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2.

  • Windows Installer beginning with version 4.5.

    The .NET Framework requires Windows Installer 4.5. You can install Windows Installer from the Windows Installer Web site.

  • The .NET Framework. The .NET Framework 2.0 is available on the SQL Server 2005 product media, and from the SDK, redistributable, and service pack download Web site.

    • To install the .NET Framework 2.0 from the SQL Server 2005 media, locate the root of the disk drive. Then, double-click the \redist folder, double-click the \2.0 folder, and run Dotnetfx.exe (for 32 bit) or Dotnetfx64.exe (for 64 bit), depending on your operating system.
  • SQL Server 2000 decision support objects (DSO) are required to scan upgrade issues in Analysis Services. To install DSO, insert the SQL Server 2000 media into the disc drive. This starts the SQL Server 2000 Setup program. Click Install SQL Server 2000 Components. Click Analysis Services to start the Analysis Services Setup program. In Select Components, make sure that the Decision Support Objects component is selected.

  • SQL Server 2000 client components are required to scan SQL Server 2000 DTS packages. Use the SQL Server 2000 installation disk to install client components.

  • SQL Server 2005 backward compatibility components are required to scan SQL Server 2005 DTS packages that were migrated from SQL Server 2000. Use the SQL Server 2005 installation disk to install backward compatibility components.

To install Upgrade Advisor from the Web, click the download button on the download page. You can then run installation immediately, or save the SQLUA.msi file to run later. If you are installing from the product disc, run SQLUA.msi directly from the product disk.

After you install Upgrade Advisor, you can open it from the Start menu:

  • Click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and then click SQL Server 2008 R2 Upgrade Advisor.

For more information, see the Upgrade Advisor documentation and the Upgrade Advisor Release Notes.